To be honest, I couldn’t wait for September to come to an end, which is probably why it felt very long, but in terms of reading I think it was quite a good month! But before I get into the reading, the reason I was excited for the end of September was a little holiday my husband and I booked: we drove up to Scotland, out favourite place, and spent four nights there, which was much needed! I definitely had some ambitions of blogging while up there, since I’m behind on reviews, but I allowed myself to just relax, read, and explore. And even though nobody asked, here’s a little collage of my adventures:
We spent two nights on the coast in Irvine, and while I was there, with a view of Arran island and a hint of the Hebrides I read The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke and felt every little chill of it, being so close to where it’s set. Then we went a little inland to the shores of Loch Lomond, which was beautiful as ever, and while there I read Little White Hands by Mark Cushen, and again I thought that was the perfect read for my surroundings. One of my walks around the area made me absolutely believe there could be fairies living in the forest, much like a section of Cushen’s story. But more on those soon!
Going back to the start of the month, the first book I read was Among Thieves by M.J. Kuhn, and I really enjoyed this heist story with its wit and mystery. You can read my review over here. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Next up was A Dark and Starless Forest by Sarah Hollowell which I loved; it was dark, it was tense, it was queer, and it was fresh. My review for that can also be read! ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Then I finally picked up my ARC of Redemptor by Jordan Ifueko – I can’t believe I let it sit on my shelf for as long as it did after absolutely loving the first book, but I think I just wanted to savour the duology for as long as I could. Again, I wrote a review for it, but if you haven’t read Raybearer I strongly urge you to pick it up! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I absolutely adored my next read too, The Symmetry of Stars by Alex Myers, which is a character-focused fantasy based on the Italian epic Orlando Furioso, and if you’re wondering what on earth that is, I talk a bit more about it in my review. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
Having caught up on my ARCs somewhat, I read Paladin Unbound by Jeffrey Speight, which was sent to me by the author, and it is my most recent review, if you’re interested in reading it! ⭐⭐⭐
And then it was holiday time, and as I already mentioned, I settled into The Lighthouse Witches by C.J. Cooke, which I’ll also be reviewing soon, but I will say that if you’re looking for some October, creepy reading, you should go for this one. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
And last, but not least, was another lovely story also already mentioned, and another one for which the author reached out to me. That is, of course, Little White Hands by Mark Cushen, and while there is a review coming soon, I can tell you it’s a lovely adventure story that read like The Lord of the Rings if it had been written in the style of The Hobbit. ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Why The Germans Do It Better by John Kampfner
Slowly slowly I am still reading this in the evenings, but because I’m reading it to my husband it’s slower going, as I don’t always feel like reading aloud and he doesn’t always feel like listening. But we’re about half way through now and it’s still very interesting.
Cage of Souls by Adrian Tchaikovsky
I found this in a charity shop (more on that in a moment) and even though I had so many other books lined up on my TBR and my ARCs I simply had to start it, so I’ve been reading this on and off throughout the month and hopefully I’ll finish it now in October. As always, brilliant work by Tchaikovsky.
The Bone Ships by RJ Barker
Yes, I know that The Bone Ship’s Wake just came out, and it is sitting on my shelf calling my name, but I really felt like I needed to reread the first two books to fully get slapped by what I’m sure will be an emotional conclusion to the trilogy. Barker’s writing is the kind I feel compelled to read out loud because it flows so brilliantly (much like Adrian Tchaikovsky’s), and so this is another one I’m reading to my husband, though I don’t know how much he’s taking in in his half asleep state.
River Kings by Cat Jarman
A fascinating look at Viking presence along the Silk Road; I am reading this partly because it was a Waterstones book of the month, and partly for Norsevemeber related reasons, so keep an eye out for that next month!
Little Thieves by Margaret Owen
Okay, technically I started reading this in October, but I just wanted to give it a shout out because the first chapter was incredible and I am excited to talk about this soon!
Did I need any more books? No. Did I still buy them? Obviously! I was looking through charity shops for some new trousers and oh no, there were books, what could I do? And then I had to take my car for an MOT and while I waited I simply had to browse the charity shop near the car dealership! I was lucky enough to find the entire of The Invisible Library series just sitting on the shelf! Very excited about that… and the greatest purchase of all: The Bone Ship’s Wake by RJ Barker.